A First Time Grand Slam Winner Again




Winning a Grand Slam for the first time is not a small issue. Petra Kvitova did win her first Grand Slam title Saturday but then dropped to her knees in disbelief after the final moment. She beat Maria Sharapova with 6-3, 6-4 in the Wimbledon final.

A first time Grand Slam winner again

A first time Grand Slam winner again

Petra Kvitova, who is just 21, is the first left-handed woman to win the Wimbledon title since Martina Navratilova did in 1990. Navratilova and Jana Novotna, who are fellow compatriots, sat in the Royal Box with a host of other former Wimbledon champions.

It did not seem as if Kvitova was playing in her first major final, because last time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova showed her more nerves than Kvitova. The previous Wimbledon champion double faulted six times, including twice in the first set to get broken to 4-2 score.

Kvitova made almost little mistakes on Centre Court as she used a fast-paced and well-placed forehand. She kept Sharapova on the run with 18 winners, and never seemed to lose confidence despite being broken three times.

With Williams sisters out of the foray, Sharapova was the clear favorite entering the finals. She had won the title at the All England Club in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. It was the shoulder surgery in October 2008 that slowed her career a bit, but she returned to the semifinals at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since 2008 at the French Open last month. Till the semifinal match of Wimbledon, Sharapova was the reigning queen with not a single set lost. But she struggled with her serve in the semifinals, double-faulting 13 times before beating German wildcard Sabine Lisicki.

Taking her own time to get to the net, Sharapova won the toss the before the final and elected to receive, perhaps because she wanted some time to get into game action before testing her serve. It appeared to be a smart move because she broke for a 1-0 lead as Kvitova missed three forehands.  But her serve was questioned for the first time in the next time wherein she lost four points to equalize the score at 1-1.Till then she had faulted only once in the five attempts.

She blatantly wasted her second chance in the third game but there was nothing that Kvitova had to worry till a few games later. With the score, Sharapova produced her second double-fault of the match when the scores were 30-30; the third double fault came trotting in after two swings.

While opening the eighth game, she double-faulted again while she was trailing 5-2. But she did manage to hold and force Kvitova to serve out the set.

Kvitova broke Sharapova again in the opening game of the second set, with the Sharapova double-faulting for the fifth time to give her opponent a break point.

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Monica Mishra

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